Points

Savate is a kicking, punching, and grappling art native to the south of France. The earliest historical reference to "savate" is in an 18th-century poem. Its techniques are certainly much older, though, and probably saw use as far back as the 15 th century. Sometime in the interim, Savate became the streetfighting style of choice for sailors, thugs, and toughs.

In 1877, Joseph Charlemont and his son opened a Savate school in Paris. Charlemont Academy took both male and female students, noble and common, and Savate become fashionable. Later in the 19th century, savateurs in contact with Japanese martial artists began to combine their art with Jujutsu, developing the system further while retaining its distinctive French style. After two World Wars, however, few savateurs remained (less than three dozen silver glove holders) and emphasis shifted to a sport form; see La Boxe Fran├žaise (see above).

Savate is best known as a kicking art but includes a full range of hand strikes, head butts, and even hip and shoulder strikes. Its famous kicks are both high- and low-line -with low kicks being more common - and thrown jumping, spinning, and main au sol ("hand on the floor"). Treat a main au sol kick as either a Committed Attack or an All-Out Attack (Long). Stylists use grapples to avoid an attack or set up a strike, not for locking or immobilizing.

Savate frequently includes cane fighting for advanced students; serious cane fighters should learn La Canne de Combat (p. 157) as well. Certain schools also teach a full range of weapons, including knives, swords, straight razors, whips, and even guns. Some offer an improvised-weapons sub-style called Panache to silver-gloves students. This teaches how to use any object or item of clothing to distract or injure an antagonist.

There are two ways to handle cinematic savateurs. They might throw spectacular acrobatic kicks following handstands and cartwheels, their exaggerated stances, feints, and kicks retaining effectiveness even as they impress with their artistry. Alternatively, such fighters might be like the bare-knuckled, full-contact savateurs of old, in which case they should have the same "cinematic" traits as boxers (see Boxing, pp. 152-153).

Modern Savate is often a sport form that favors clean, elegant kicks and punches over pragmatic street techniques. It eliminates grappling and "dirty fighting," and doesn't include cane fighting or Panache. Students of this art learn La Boxe Fran├žaise, not the style described here. Savate is most common in France but has an international federation. It's possible to find schools - albeit with some difficulty - worldwide.

Skills: Karate; Wrestling.

Techniques: Back Kick; Drop Kick; Feint (Karate); Hammer Fist; Head Butt; Jump Kick; Kicking; Spinning Kick.

Cinematic Skills: Flying Leap; Power Blow. Cinematic Techniques: Flying Jump Kick; Lethal Kick; Roll with Blow; Springing Attack (Karate).

Perks: Improvised Weapons (Karate); Technique Mastery (Kicking).

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